2020 Roku Premiere (3920) Review
The Roku Premiere (3920) is a 4K streaming device that was introduced in September 2018 (R). This cord-cutting device is not a stick or a dongle. It is a tiny set-top box that needs to be visible to be used. The Premiere is the least expensive 4K HR10 media streamer on the market giving users a crisp picture with rich colors. This device is great for 4K and HDR TVs and is an easy upgrade from older models.
Roku Premiere Hardware
The Premiere streaming device is very fast and responsive because it is powered by a quad-core ARM Cortex A53 processor. Navigating between menus and applications is very fast but does rely on the aging 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi technology.
The device connects to your television via an HDMI cable. The device must be powered by using a micro USB adapter and cable or you can power the device via the USB port on your TV; however, this will slow down the device. Micro USB adapter and cables are included.
Also included is the standard Roku remote without voice controls. The remote uses IR, so you’ll need to be within line of sight of the box, unlike newer devices that rely on Bluetooth. The remote is matte black and very lightweight. The remote contains directional arrow buttons, a back and home button, and also has reverse, fast-forward, and play buttons.
The remote also includes four shortcut buttons at the bottom that allows you to go directly to a cord-cutting service app such as Netflix or Sling TV. Depending upon where you get the Roku Premiere these four buttons may be different. Also offered to users is the mobile app which allows you to use your smartphone as the remote, which also offers some advanced capabilities such as voice search.
Roku Premiere Performance
The Premiere’s performance is superb for the price point. At under $50, the Premiere delivers outstanding 4K HDR picture quality at an affordable price with some arguing, including myself, that the device is better than the Amazon 4K Stick. Loading video is a seamless experience and despite being inexpensive the device is not cheap.
The performance of the Roku is largely determined by the Wi-Fi antenna, processor, and platform. The Premiere can’t access less-crowded 5GHz Wi-Fi networks, just standard 2.4GHz ones. If your home Wi-Fi network is spotty or weak it could affect the 4K picture quality and may force the device to downscale to 1080p.
The platform is where the streamer absolutely nails it. It’s lightweight and fairly minimalist. The platform is not cluttered making scrolling smooth and quick with very little hints of lag. Users are able to stream content from the most popular streaming services and applications with ease.
Getting set up with the Premiere is very easy. Simply plug in the device, connect the HDMI to your TV, and follow the on-screen instructions. The device will ask you to connect to your Wi-Fi and then it will check for firmware updates and will optimize the resolution. The resolution may start out fuzzy, but do not worry because the device will automatically adjust to your television’s proper resolution settings.
After you have connected to Wi-Fi and run the initial setup you will be asked to go to Roku’s website to register the device. You can pick and choose which apps you want to download to your Roku. You can go back and change this at any time. Roku will start you off with a handful of apps at first but there are thousands of apps available.
Once set up, simply select and open an application and you’re ready to start consuming your favorite content.
The platform gives cord-cutters access to over 5,000 different channels and applications. This includes both free and premium based content. Roku arguably has the greatest ecosystem of applications and games. All of these can be downloaded at no cost from the Roku Channel Store.
Mainstream content includes cord-cutting services such as Sling TV, fuboTV, YouTube TV, Hulu, Netflix, and more. Users also get access to free content such as PlutoTV, tubi, PBS, Crackle, and more. Users are offered the capability to listen to music, watch TV and movies, and even get up-to-date news and weather information.
The Roku mobile app gives users extra features. Use your iOS or Android device to enhance your cord-cutting experience. Additional features include:
- The Roku Channel: Stream hundreds of hit movies, tv shows, and more—anytime, anywhere.
- Voice Search: Just say it to search by title, actor, or director across 1,000+ channels.
- Private listening: Use headphones to listen as loud as you want without disturbing the house.
- Cast to TV: See your photos, videos, and music up on your big screen.
Roku Premiere Technical Specs
|Networking||802.11 (b/g/n compatible) with WEP, WPA, and WPA2 support|
|TV Compatibility||HD TVs – Up to 1080p (1920 x 1080) with up-scaling from 720p, 4K UHD TVs – Up to 2160p at 60fps (3840 × 2160) with up-scaling from 720p and 1080p. TV must have an HDMI input that supports HDCP 2.2, 4K UHD HDR TVs – Supports HDR10. TV must have an HDMI input that supports HDCP 2.2|
|Ports||Power, HDMI 2.0a|
|Audio||Digital stereo over HDMI®, DTS Digital Surround™ pass through over HDMI, Dolby Audio™ and Dolby ATMOS® pass through over HDMI|
|Size||1.4 x 3.3 x 0.7 inches|
Compare Roku Premiere To Other Streaming Devices
Wondering how this streaming media player stacks up vs other devices? Compare our Roku Premiere review to other popular cord-cutting TV devices reviews. We have reviewed the most popular devices on the market including brands such as Amazon, Apple, Roku, and more. Check out our full list of device reviews here:
- AirTV – Dual network tuner that transmits OTA signals to a device connected television. Rating: 7.0; Price: Discontinued.
- AirTV Player – Unique device that combines streaming television with over-the-air antenna local channels in one platform. Rating: 6.4; Price: Discontinued.
- Amazon Fire TV Cube – Central hub for connecting and controlling all of your home theatre equipment including TV, cable box, and even audio equipment by using the Amazon Alexa voice control technology. Rating: 8.6; Price: $119.99.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick – Amazon’s budget streamer for cord-cutters looking to for 1080p resolution. Rating: 8.4; Price: $39.99.
- Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K – Amazon’s 4K streaming stick. Great value. Rating: 9.0; Price: $49.00.
- Apple TV – Original set-top box by Apple. Rating: 8.4; Price: $149.99.
- Apple TV 4K – One of the most powerful set-top boxes on the market. Apple’s 4K version. Rating: 9.2; Price: 32G $179.99 and 64G $199.99.
- Google Chromecast Dongle that allows users to cast from a separate device. Rating: 6.4; Price: $35.00.
- Google Chromecast Ultra – Google’s 4K version of the dongle. Powerful but awkward. Rating: 7.4; Price: $69.00.
- Roku Express – Ultra budget 1080p set-top box. Rating: 7.6; Price: $29.99.
- Roku Express+ Tiny set-top box for older televisions. Rating: 7.8; Price: $35.00.
- Roku Premiere – Inexpensive 4K and HDR10 set-top box. Rating: 8.6; Price: $39.99.
- Roku Premiere+ Upgraded version of the Premiere. Rating: 8.6; Price: $49.99.
- Roku Ultra Top-of-line 4K and HDR set-top box. Rating: 9.6; Price: $99.99.
- Roku Streaming Stick Non-4K streaming stick for budget cord-cutters. Rating: 8.6; Price: $49.99.
- Roku Streaming Stick+ Very powerful 4K cord-cutting stick for power cord-cutters. Rating: 9.6; Price: $49.99.